The Safety Thread

I’d like to expand on #3 in @JLabs’ list of guidelines: so far, this thread has focused on personal (owner) safety, which is cool. But what about public safety? Simply venting out a window will make the room safe®, but what about who or what is downwind of that vent? GF is hitting a price point that puts it in reach of hobbyists who could purchase it for personal use, and therefore be personally liable. This has me wondering if it’s ever prudent to run a laser cutter without at least some level of filtering, even if it will be vented out a window. Thoughts?

I did a quick search of the other threads, but didn’t find a one-stop compendium of what can or cannot go in a GF. There are a few tidbits in the message boards here however, such as the potential of laser cutting chrome-tanned leather (which dominates the market) to produce carcinogens - yikes - thank you @jkopel for pointing that out!

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Doesn’t seem in any normal outdoor scenario you could produce enough fumes to matter outside. This isn’t some giant industrial cutting laser making steel saw blades or whatever producing huge plumes of toxic fumes. I am guess that this is probably less than a cigarette in quantity… Not that breathing them is good, but when diluted to the great outdoors, probably not a big deal…

@henryhbk raises an interesting question: how much particulate and gaseous emissions are typically produced, and where does that land with respect to air pollution regulations in rural/suburban/urban locations. I’ve worked around laser cutters, but admit I’ve never stepped outside to see what was coming out of the vent. I’ve only seen them in industrial settings, where there’s plenty of room for the fumes to disperse (not to imply that makes it OK). This doesn’t apply to me, but what if someone sets up their GF in an apartment or condo, and their neighbor has pet birds (which are deathly sensitive to certain fumes), small children, etc?

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